Really good article on unhealthy dieting:
Some important points:
when I hear things like “cookie = bad” and see subsequent shame or guilt associated with eating it, I get concerned. Even though many people think dietitians are the “food police,” I’m way less interested in policing what people eat and much more interested in helping people gain a broader understanding of what constitutes healthy eating. In fact, at least half of what I do as a dietitian is help folks cultivate a healthier relationship with food, not restrict their diets.
When we look at food only as something to be restricted and controlled in order to lose weight or “be healthy,” it can backfire. Not only does this mindset lead most people to feel deprived (which can lead to bingeing later on), having this relationship to food also causes you to miss out on important things that we all need for our mental health.
Missing out on enough of what food has to offer in the pursuit of healthy eating and “wellness” can strip the joy out of one of life’s greatest pleasures… I encounter plenty of people who report being anxious about eating out with friends or family because they won’t be able to control every aspect of the meal.
keep in mind that lots of the restricting people do in the service of weight loss or eating healthy isn’t necessarily actually leading to them eating a more nutritious diet. There are plenty of diets whose proponents say that weight loss and better health will result if you follow them, but for many of these diets, like the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, there’s little evidence that this is the case. Beyond that, most weight loss diets do fail. In other words, in addition to all this restriction being socially and psychologically challenging, it probably isn’t even doing much for your health or weight loss efforts anyway.
And most importantly:
Even though it might be the norm thanks to our diet-obsessed culture, making lots of rules about what and when you can eat is not healthy eating.